Amid Policy Issues, We Should Observe Lunar New Year

Anh Lê, Oberlin parent

To the Editors:

My son, Minh-Jeffrey Lê, attends Oberlin College as a senior.

I arrived in the United States as a young immigrant child, grew up mostly in Michigan and regard myself proudly as a “Midwesterner” and a Vietnamese American. I now reside in San Francisco, CA. I applaud President Obama for meeting with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in California.

The challenge to the Asian region’s security from the conflicts over territorial claims regarding the Spratly Islands between China and Vietnam, as well as China and other neighbors, reminds us of the continuing potential threat of war looming over this oiland gasrich region, also a vital maritime trade route.

In 2014, when Vietnam called for international negotiations and adherence to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, China rejected it.

We must call on President Obama and Congress to demand that China work with ASEAN countries to resolve these regional conflicts peacefully and according to international law. Let us also call on the U.N. and the World Court to address these issues resolutely.

Even as the ASEAN Summit was ending on Feb. 16, we learned from news reports that China had recently deployed and installed batteries of advanced surface-to-air missiles on one of the Parcel Islands, a move regarded by many as a significant military escalation in the region by China.

The conflicts in the Pacific region must be resolved diplomatically and peacefully, and according to international law. Otherwise, the potential of military conflict and war in the region could erupt into a major war that would involve the United States, Russia and China, one that would be catastrophic to all parties.

Let us wage and embrace peace as we celebrate the Asian Lunar New Year.

Minh-Jeffrey, my family and I wish to express our deepest thanks and gratitude to the professors, staff and students at Oberlin College for making Oberlin such a special, rich and unique place for learning and discovery.

My family and I send our warmest wishes to everyone at Oberlin College and all the people of Oberlin, Ohio.

I look forward to attending the Commencement Program at Oberlin in May!

Chúc mừng năm mới! “Happy New Year!”

Anh Lê

Oberlin parent